White Christmas chances in the Heartland 2017

(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

(KFVS) - Are you dreaming of a White Christmas? If you are, you will probably be disappointed.

While some of us may indeed see a little snow this weekend,  it won't be enough for a true White Christmas.

On Saturday morning it looks like we'll see just enough cold air blowing in from the northwest to turn the Friday night rain to wet snow....especially over parts of SE Missouri and SW Illinois. While most of this snow would likely melt as it falls,  it could get briefly heavy enough in some areas (like the Ozark Foothills) for some of it to stick to trees, decks, etc.  But this snow will melt pretty quickly as we warm back to near 40 by Saturday afternoon. Saturday night, temperatures s will fall into the mid-20s with a few clouds.

On Sunday, Christmas Eve, a fast-moving upper system may be just strong enough to squeeze out some light snow showers, mainly over sections of SE MO and S IL.  The best chance of seeing snow will be up toward the I-64 corridor in Southern Illinois.  But this snow is expected to be very light and probably won't accumulate.  And by Christmas Eve night it will likely be clearing out and getting colder (Christmas morning lows in the teens and 20s.)

Christmas Day will be cold and dry. The next 7 days will be marked by unseasonably cold. We are keeping a close eye on a possible wintry system late next week.

Significant winter storms in the Heartland usually occur when cold, dry air is already in place,  and warmer air begins to push in from the south.  There is a chance of something like that happening later next week, about Thursday or Friday, but right now that's too far away to accurately forecast.

Historically, the Heartland sees a White Christmas once every eight years or so. That number is based on records from the National Weather Service in Paducah that started back in 1949. Of course, the definition of White Christmas could also include snow on the ground, even if it didn't actually fall on Christmas Day.

Data shows there have been eight Christmas Days that one inch or more of snow depth was measured.

The deepest snowfall was measured in 2004 when nine inches of snow fell on Christmas in the Heartland.

And, our most recent measurable snow was in 2010 when three inches of snow fell.

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